I used to live on Mt. Tam, and every year I would get up to watch the Dipsea racers bolt past my place on their way up & over the mountain range to Stinson Beach. I always swore I would enter the race one day, but time flew by and now that I live in the city I don't get reminded of it anymore. So when my friend asked me if I wanted to come on a training run with him, I squealed a little & happily said yes! Our plan was to run the Dipsea, have brunch at the bottom, and catch the shuttle back to Mill Valley. When he picked me up that morning he said, "Oh, one glitch; the shuttle doesn't run today...but I figure we'll just hitch hike back." Instantly, my mind was reliving the days in Europe when my girlfriends and I would giddily set out on the road with our tiny little backpacks, thumbs meekly pointed up, our hearts pounding with anticipation. Yet now, even though we were only in Marin, my heart still skipped a beat thinking about what adventure we could have during our 15 minute ride up the winding road from the water.
"Do you mind the dog?" She said to him in the back. I couldn't even see a dog from the front seat where I slid. I turned around to look and still caught no glimpse, so I assumed it was a little shitzu or other tiny dog shivering in the corner like little dogs do. The three of us immediately started sharing stories of hitch hiking escapades from our pasts, speaking as if we were already long time friends heading off on a road trip together. Then it turned to our gay friends and how her best friend had just moved to "pardon me, Fucking Florida!" Recently she had met a new gay neighbor and was tickled about it. Her raspy voice had a tinge of an accent, (New Jersey, we pondered?) her eyes confident behind her classy sun glasses. She asked about us, "You guys married?" "No." "Well you should be!" She pulled over to let us off, and I asked if I could take her photo. "Do you want Teddy in the picture?" she asked, as she opened up the hatch back, pouring out this enormous mountain of curly brown fur onto the road. Teddy definitely gets the best behaved huge dog award. He plopped down in the dirt next to our Jersey lady and I swear he smiled at me. "What's your name?" I asked her. "Joy" she said. And that she was!